6.26.2013

America, We Have a Sin Problem

This article at CNN.com, about how monogamy is unnatural and rare in the animal kingdom and that therefore asking it of people is too high a bar, is symptomatic of a problematic attitude towards what Christians call "sin." 

If you don't believe in a God who sets the moral rules, then "because God said you shouldn't" doesn't hold much weight with you, and I get that.  But then if the only other way that you evaluate whether you should or shouldn't do something is if it's natural, that's a problem.  It speaks of a prototypical American mindset that says that if something feels good, you must be given the freedom to do it, and far be it from anyone to impose upon you any sense of higher authority or absolute standard that forces you into something unnatural.  (I say "American" not because other cultures don't also think this, but rather because it seems even more pronounced in this country, and at any rate I don't know other cultures nearly as well so don't want to presume.)

Hopefully, most Americans, regardless of their religious persuasions and the extent to which they are willing to stick up for them, realize that doing whatever you feel like is no way to live life.  Cheating, of course, may be biologically "natural," but it is also relationally damaging and emotionally scarring.  It is the height of arrogance and sociopathy to elevate one's own hedonistic whims over the damage wrought by giving into them.

"Don't sin because you might hurt someone" is not as far as I like going when it comes to moral wrongs, of course.  I believe in a God who has the ultimate say-so on our behavior, and who made us in such a way that He knows best what is best for us and instructs us accordingly - the Bible says things like "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" for this reason - and not because He likes to say "because I said so."  

But even if you don't want to go that far - and I realize most of my readers don't share this belief of mine and so don't have it govern the way they live - you have to think twice about a worldview that follows whatever seems natural.  Modern society is modern society for the very reason that we reign in our fleshly impulses and selfish desires within a broader structure that respects the interconnectedness of our actions on others.  Far from being primitive, not being governed solely by what comes naturally is the defining characteristic of our evolved condition.  You don't even have to be a Christian to buy that.  Sad that so many share the CNN.com author's position that we should never restrict ourselves in ways that feel unnatural.
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